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Four Israeli civilians wounded in West Bank

Gunmen remain at large

Soldiers patrol the site of a shooting attack near the Palestinian village of Wallaje Sunday.
Soldiers patrol the site of a shooting attack near the Palestinian village of Wallaje Sunday.

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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Four Israeli civilians were wounded when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on cars traveling from Har Gilo to Jerusalem late Sunday, medical services and the Israel Defense Forces said.

The IDF reported that the Israelis were traveling in two cars near the Palestinian village of Wallaje.

Security sources said the shooting happened near the Wallaje checkpoint. The cars reached the checkpoint after they were shot.

The suspected gunmen remained at large.

Medical services said the seriously wounded victim was a 39-year-old woman. Her 9-year-old daughter was moderately wounded, and her 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son were lightly wounded, they said.

The shooting occurred northwest of Bethlehem, in the West Bank. A few weeks ago, Israel handed over the security responsibility for Bethlehem and the villages around it to the Palestinians as part of efforts to implement the "road map" to peace.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said last week that the Palestinian Authority is committed to implementing security.

"Security for all, Palestinians and Israelis, is an essential element in progress, and we will achieve security based on the rule of law. We have succeeded significantly, where Israel, with its military might, has failed in reducing violence. And we will continue."

Terror attacks against Israelis have decreased since Abbas stepped in and worked out a truce among Palestinian militant groups.

The so-called road map is backed by the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union. It is aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and establishing an independent Palestinian state by 2005.

From CNN producer Avivit Dalgoshen


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